April 04, 2010

TV: Miami Medical (CBS, Fri 10)

Trauma surgeons, says nurse Tuck Brody (Omar Gooding), are the rock stars of medicine, and the trauma surgeons of Miami Medical are the Rolling Stones. A Stones concert is a better analogy for the show than he realizes, I'm afraid: There's undeniably a great deal of talent involved, but you're not going to see anything you wouldn't have seen twenty years ago.

Take, for instance, the standard lineup of doctors we're given. Matt Proctor (Jeremy Northam) is the dashing Brit who heads the team; he's a Gulf War vet who's given up a lucrative private practice to do trauma work. Chris "Dr. C" Deleo (Mike Vogel) is the young, slightly reckless hunk who lives for the thrill of high-risk surgery. Eva Zambrano (Lana Parrilla) is the workaholic, and Serena Warren (Elisabeth Harnois) is fresh out of med school, and trying not to crack under the pressure. And that pressure can overwhelm you at any time, as we learn in the first five minutes, when team leader William Rayner (guest star Andre Braugher) breaks down and walks out of the hospital, stripping off all his clothes as he goes.

The patients in the first episode are also fairly standard issue. The team is dealing with the fallout from a gas explosion -- trying to save a pregnant woman and her unborn child, fighting to keep a burn victim alive long enough for a farewell visit from his fiancee, reattaching the severed hand of a man who saved a little girl. The resolution of the burn victim's story is slightly novel, with a high-tech twist we wouldn't have seen in previous decades, but aside from that, there's not a surprising moment to be found here.

The actors are likable, and the show zips along without giving you too much time to reflect on the worst bits of dialogue. But it all feels terribly familiar; even the quick shots of sunny Miami that introduce each act feel borrowed from Burn Notice. The folks who have the most to celebrate with the arrival of Miami Medical, I suspect, are the cast and crew of Numbers, whose chances for another season in this Friday night time slot just went way up, because this show certainly isn't going to last long enough to take its place.

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